Seriously the best food on the planet. Black Garlic is fermented garlic that has turned black, sweet, soft and oh, so delicious (and good for you apparently).
I have been buying black garlic from a local garlic farmer, Eureka Garlic,who also inspired my love of growing garlic. Over the years I have contemplated fermenting my own but just never got around to it. After much internet searching and video watching I threw in the towel and launched the experiment.
I bought a cheap little rice cooker, layered paper towel on the bottom, full garlic bulbs to fill the bowl, a final layer of paper towel and then tossed in some water to keep everything hydrated. The cooker was left on warm since August 15th. I should note that the cooker came with a steamer basket I used to layer the garlic…it slowed the process and I discarded it within the first 30 days.
For the first couple of weeks it was left outside on the back deck as the initial smell was overwhelming. Once the smell subsided (it was actually only a couple of days but I was busy and the raccoons don’t like garlic so it was safe to leave alone) it was good to bring back inside and let it sit until done. The only attention it needed was to monitor the moisture level along the way. Sometimes I added a little white wine, others beer but mostly water.
From everything I had researched people were getting black garlic in as little as 10 days and as much as 30 days…good for them. At 3 and a half months I have a product I am happy with. The bulbs have turned black, the flesh is tender and sweet. I can eat the cloves straight from the bulb. I will say they are not the Eureka Garlic extreme fleshy softness that you can squish with your thumb, that he has perfected over years of trials, but they are my first attempt. The texture is soft and slightly chewy, but not gummy bear tough. They should make a sauce with very little effort.
A success that I will do again. Maintaining a more sustained moisture level should improve the results and time frame. I frequently had to re hydrate crispy cloves as I forgot about it. Good to know that dehydration did not kill the experiment.
If one man can do it, so can you.
My father taught me I can do anything I want to (note I have to want to…)and I have not waived from that belief. I wanted to do this.